Saturday, October 31, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular Louisville, Kentucky

Halloween is probably Joe's favorite season, and when he can't be in the middle of the madness at Fantasy Fest, you can be pretty sure he's out looking for just about anything that has to do with pumpkins. And when you are in the midwest, the best place to look for jack-o-lanterns in October is Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is probably the biggest jack-o-lantern show you'll ever see in your life, and with with thousands of carved pumpkins lighting up the trail at Iroquois Park on the south side of Louisville, you should be sure to visit during the Halloween season.

This year Joe sprung for the VIP passes for Jack-O-Lantern, and if you don't mind the extra cost, in addition to going on the trail with everyone else, you get treated to a special look behind the scenes and a private trip to the pumpkin shed where you can see the magic behind the art pumpkins. What is the difference between an art pumpkin and a regular old jack-o-lantern? Well, the art pumpkins are the incredibly detailed and intricately designed pumpkins that together create the multimedia art show produced by the team at Passion for Pumpkins, Inc.

Passions for Pumpkins started doing shows in Massachusetts, and it wasn't long before the show got so big they made found themselves in Louisville doing Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. This group has a special technique for doing the art pumpkins, and if you look at some of our pictures you might pick up on a few things, but needless to say the artist spend hundreds of hours each fall during the show creating these one-of-a-kind pieces.

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is a rain or shine event, which means if it happens to start raining, the show goes on, so if you buy tickets in advance and it starts to rain (like we did), don't panic. One of the pumpkin experts actually told us that rainy nights are some of the best times be out on the trail because the crowds are lighter and you can take your time without the big lines behind you, but be sure to pack an umbrella. Parking can get pretty crazy when a few thousand of your Halloween inspired friends show in suburbans and minivans, so get there early and consider buying passes in advance. Photography is permitted along the trail, although its not too easy to hold a camera and an umbrella, and tripods and flash photography are not allowed. It absolutely poured the night we were there, and while we want to go again on a dry night, the rain didn't completely spoil our fun. But keep in mind, we had those pricey VIP passes hanging around our necks thanks to Joe, so we spent a lot of the time during a downpour in the pumpkin barn where we were high and dry. And you get to peak behind the scenes just like Josh and Joe Travels!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Kansas City and Moon Marble in Bonner Springs

Of all the places we travel, Moon Marble in Booner Springs, Kansas, is one our favorite places to visit. Our trips to the Moon have become an annual tradition, and we've been collecting handmade marbles from the Moon for about ten years. Those marbles are like our trips - not a single one can ever be exactly alike no matter how hard you try. If you've been following the blog for any amount of time you've likely read all about Moon Marble, but don't forget that in addition to the one of a kind handmade marbles, Moon Marble is also one of the coolest independent toy stores you'll find in the country. So make sure you stop at the Moon, and don't forget to ask if we buy more marbles made by Ernie or Bruce if you bump into Josh and Joe Travels!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal

Cincinnati Union Terminal is incredible, and while it still serves as the city's hub for Amtrak, it also serves as the museum center. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal houses the history museum, children's museum, science museum and even an omnimax theater. Union Terminal is also home to the Cincinnati Library and Archives, so this is a spot with lots to see. Union Terminal's architecture features one of the largest half domes you're likely to ever see in the United States, plus the Rockwood ice cream parlor and Winold Reiss mosaics are impressive details. And while you're there, you'll notice a unique perspective on the city skyline. Opened in 1933, Union Terminal is one of the best examples of art deco style in the midwest, so be sure to drop by if you are in Cinci, just like Josh and Joe Travels!